Susan Mancey – March 2023 – #IWD

Susan Mancey – Playing Football at 77.

We don’t have enough words to say how inspiring it is to see Susan (and her friend Margaret) come to our Walking Football sessions.  Susan joined us, last year aged 76, and with her 2 daughters Lisa and Nicola playing for COGS, Susan became the third member of the family to start playing football with us.

Susan (r) and her friend Margaret (l).

Susan always gives everything to the sessions and when you see her enthusiasm and fun, it just makes everyone want to be like her when they get to their 70s!

It just goes to show that you’re never too old and it’s never too late to get active with a football.

This is Susan’s story, in her own words, with the help of husband Michael.  What a great team they are together.

“Hi. I am Susan Mancey and, about a year ago, at the tender age of 76 I was persuaded by my family to start playing football. I play “walking football” which I didn’t even know existed. I play with the famous Crawley Old Girls (COGS) for an hour every Monday night, but it is one of the highlights of my week. I love playing. Even when it is freezing cold, or wet. I would love to play conventional football, but I’m not sure my body could take it!

When I meet the other ladies each Monday night, and before we even start warming up, there is no doubt that I feel “good”. Playing is such great fun. It might be considered as non-competitive, but we still try to win each match.

There is no doubt that walking football has been beneficial for me, both physically, and mentally. I would encourage others to follow my example. I’m sure that they won’t regret it. I have managed to persuade a friend, that is slightly younger than me, to play. She enjoys it equally.

When I was growing up it was unheard of for women in England to play football. This continued for several decades. In all that time I would often wish that I could play, but there was never the opportunity. Had I been a boy, or man, it would have been easy. However, for me it was virtually impossible. At school we played netball, hockey or rounders.

From as long back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed watching football – men’s football. I am lucky to have been around when England won the World Cup in 1966. It was at this time that I first met my husband. We started going to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea play most of their home games, and in all weathers!

We had two daughters: Lisa in 1974 and Nicola in 1977, so I accepted that I could never live out my dream to play through sons. Just carrying on watching Chelsea whenever we could. However, to my delight, in their early twenties, both of our daughters joined the newly formed Crawley Down Ladies F.C. Few of the squad were young and had virtually no natural skill whatsoever. Despite this, they played purely for fun over several seasons. My husband and I went to watch them. In the early days it wasn’t uncommon for them to lose 20-0, or even worse but they simply enjoyed playing as a team. They did reach a cup final though, but lost.

Then they had families, which prevented them from playing anymore, so it was back to watching Chelsea and England. For a while we were Chelsea members and travelled up to the new Stamford Bridge frequently.

About four years ago, both of our daughters, started playing football for COGS. For one of them it was life changing. She was suffering from anxiety, but playing football was a lifeline back to normality. It is certainly a highlight of her week. It was my daughters that introduced me walking football with COGS. I am so grateful that they did.

My granddaughter, Aimee is passionate about football. She is also an avid Chelsea supporter. She has been playing for several years. Now aged 13 she plays for Crawley Wasps. We watch her play, both home and away, on many Sunday mornings through the season.

This means that there are three female generations of my family that play football.

It would be true to say that we are a Female Football Family.

I mustn’t forget my 10-year-old grandson Harry who plays football, but sadly, he supports Man City.”

We think Susan is a great role model to celebrate this International Women’s Day!

For more information on Crawley Old Girls (COGS), whether it be running, walking or joining in a confidence in coaching football session, check out our Sessions menu to see details of the 6 different COGS’ sessions or email for more information.

Happy #IWD2023!  Be Inspired – Be Inspiring